Romance in the Garden, French-Country Style

The marriage of colorful cottage-style gardens with formal design, clipped hedges and stone hardscapes inspired the 19th-century French impressionists — and this romantic design style can look just as beautiful in 21st-century yards.

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Courtesy of Shellene Mueller

French-country gardens blend the elements of formal design with informal, almost cottage-style planting beds. "You have clipped hedges, and you also have more natural plantings that look a little wild," says garden designer Shellene Mueller. "It's a plant-driven style."

Here, parterre and topiaries create the formal "bones" of this French-style garden, while unclipped flowering trees, vines and perennials lend a romantic feel.

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